There are many common terms that are used to describe a wine, and they usually refer to a wine’s aromas (the nose or bouquet, although bouquet is usually used for older wines) as well as its taste or palate (which is the taste and the feel of a wine.) You probably know that wines can be bitter, brilliant, complex, earthy, spicy and sweet. But how about moldy, muscular or musty? Do you prefer wine that is young, solid, round or silky? Sometimes it is hard to tell if the wine is being insulted or complimented (or both). For some unusual, interesting, and downright funny ways to describe your wine, see below.
Oh, you sexy wine. Tasting wines can almost be like dating. Do you like your wines foxy? That means your wine has the musty odor and flavor of wines made from Native American grapes. Maybe you prefer your wines hot – wines that are high in alcohol and sometime produce a burning sensation in your mouth. Or how about supple (not very tannic) or even racy (lots of acidity but well balanced). I like my wines zippy (lots of acidity balanced with fruit), although sometimes edgy (with a high level of acidity.) Or how about full-bodied – a tasting note that indicates a wine that is high in alcohol and flavors, and usually very robust. Think Marilyn Monroe…
Not so good. Do you prefer your wines leesy – a tasting note that declares a wine has aromas and smells caused by spending time on its lees, sediment consisting of dead yeast cells, grape pulp, and other grape debris that accumulates during fermentation. Talk about an insult… Your wine can also be stiff or dumb. This is a tasting note for when the wine has a withheld flavor or aroma, usually when tasting young or improperly chilled, stored, or aged wines. How about some chewy wine – an unusual thickness of tannins or texture. And hard wine – a tasting note used for wines with too much tannin. Lightstruck sounded good to me until I learned it was a tasting note for wines that had been exposed to ultraviolet light too long, and tasted like wet cardboard. Let’s not even discuss dirty, a tasting note used when there are flavors and aromas resulting from poor hygiene during fermenting or bottling.
Interesting tasting notes. Wines can also be thick (heavy and dense), thin (deficient in body or character), or vigorous (my favorite)! Or would you like your wines weedy – a tasting note that indicates a stalky aroma or flavor suggestive of wet straw – yum! Rough means too much acidity or tannins, and sometimes astringent. Tight is a tasting note for wines that have too much tannin, keeping you from enjoying the other flavors of the wine, while mean wines don’t have enough fruit to balance the tannins and acidity. If your wine is flabby it is lacking in structure, often marked by low acidity. And how about blowzy, a tasting note that means it has an exaggerated fruit aroma.
And funny. If you would like to generate some hysterically funny wine tasting notes of your own, click here. For example: “Good but equally arcane Viognier. Throws out Slim Jims, lackluster fruit rollups and forward Fruity Pebbles. Drink now through 2010.” Or how about “Open-ended and fleshy Rhone. Spews Fig Newton, fat root beer and semi-weak steamed vegetable. Drink now through eternity.”